Boomers, Gen X, Y and Z : Real Estate Transactions of the Generations

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Nearly half of all owner-occupied homes are in the hands of baby boomers. While they will soon be retiring and looking for properties that meet their needs, generations X to Z are moving up the ranks.

In Switzerland, demand for real estate continues to outstrip supply. Nevertheless, the question is whether the younger generations will actually want to move into the 420,000 homes that will be vacant by 2045. The changing needs of younger age groups due to the pandemic and climate crisis, as well as the realization that status can be achieved post-materially, have shifted the focus to smart and eco-friendly real estate rather than large and luxurious homes. This poses challenges for the real estate sector, but also offers opportunities, as it allows it to respond individually to the needs of different generations.

The dynamic needs of different generations demand adaptation in the real estate sector. The key to success lies in meeting these needs individually. A holistic 360-degree service as well as tailor-made advice by experts are indispensable to ensure successful cooperation in connection with real estate transactions.

The generation of ownership: baby boomers between decadence and security

Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, have been shaped by the wartime experiences of their Silent Generation parents and therefore seek security and stability in their lives. Real estate remains a status symbol and a sign of success for baby boomers, who typically prefer large and luxurious homes. However, as they age, their needs change. Many have a desire to downsize spatially after retirement. Accessibility and comfort play an important role here, as they prefer places that allow them to lead active lives and keep moving.

Baby Boomers have a deep understanding of the requirements of a successful transaction due to their years of experience in the real estate market and therefore expect comprehensive and transparent advice on all aspects of buying, selling or maintaining a property. Tailor-made real estate advice, tailored to their specific needs, can help meet their high demands for living comfort and mobility.

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Gen X: Individualists between Boomers and Millennials

Generation X, born between 1965 and 1979, is characterized by its path of individualization and differentiation, distinct from that of its parents. As young adults, they experienced the financial crisis and are therefore aware of the volatility of the market, which makes security a key concern for them. Together with Generation Y, Gen X is an important “focus group” in the real estate industry. A study by Swisslife shows that the average first-time home buyer in Switzerland is 48 years old, which is 17 years older than the European average and thus falls squarely within the Generation X target group.

Similar to the baby boomers, they attach importance to owning their own home, but are no longer looking for luxurious “suburban houses”, preferring modern properties with a contemporary and functional design, ideally with good access to transport routes and public infrastructure. Technical equipment also plays an important role for Gen X, which is why they prefer modern, energy-efficient building technology with smart functions.

Due to their experiences, Gen X representatives are often skeptical of real estate agencies or consultants and therefore often try their luck themselves, which in many cases, however, can lead to financial damage. It is therefore crucial to offer comprehensive and individualized advice tailored to the specific needs and requirements of Gen X.

Millennials: upheaval and self-realization

Millennials, those born between 1980 and 1995, have particular ideas about real estate. As so-called “digital natives,” they have a different way of thinking, learning and working than the generations before them. For them, the focus is on self-fulfillment, leisure time and personal happiness. This change in lifestyle is also reflected in their expectations of real estate. According to a study by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, the future development and direction of the housing market will be strongly influenced by the demands of digital natives.

Millennials have a strong need for flexibility and community, which is why alternative housing and sustainability are especially important to them. In addition, they prefer urban housing because of the diverse cultural and social opportunities that cities offer. For them, it is important to live in close proximity to jobs, public transportation and recreational facilities.

While many Millennials seek proximity to the city, there are others who measure the value of their property by recreational areas. Millennials are more likely to seek out advisors because they know the complexity and financial damage of making the wrong decision in this business. For them, it is not only the digital services that are important, but also the aspect of sustainability and the values of the companies.

Gen Z: Living (t)spaces of a young generation

Generation Z, born between 1996 and 2010, shows us which values and ideas will play a role in the future. They prefer simple and intelligent solutions. Although many members of this generation are not yet thinking about buying a property, there is still a need for alternatives to traditional home ownership. Studies show that the younger generation is skeptical about buying real estate. Only 25% of Gen Z believes they will be able to afford real estate down the road. Rising interest rates and inflation are reinforcing this trend. Alternatives such as co-living and microapartments could therefore be forward-looking concepts.

In addition to being close to the center, networking and community also play an important role in Generation Z’s needs. At a time when social media and digital communication are becoming increasingly important, they are looking for ways to stay in touch and network. For this reason, forms of housing that focus on communal living and cohabitation are particularly attractive to them.

Generation Z is characterized by a great diversity of life models and demands. They have high expectations and are used to everything being available at all times. These expectations also apply to services, where they expect fast and efficient delivery or service quality. If their expectations are not met, they are quick to leave negative reviews online. Online offerings are therefore essential for this target group. Nevertheless, this generation is also quite open to professional advice, but then gladly online and flexible.

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Thinking about real estate transactions across generations

Real estate companies in Switzerland that cultivate an intergenerational mindset are in particularly high demand due to the diverse needs of their customers. To meet these challenges, at Properti we offer a comprehensive 360-degree value-added service, individually tailored to the specific needs of each of our clients. In doing so, we support you in all aspects of real estate sales, from financing to renting, management or cleaning – and we place special emphasis on individual satisfaction, adapted to all wishes.

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